PLACES are filling up fast for this year’s Angus Glens Walking Festival, which will take place at the start of next month.
But the festival, organised by Angus Council’s economic development unit, is about more than exhilarating walks in the stunning Angus countryside as it also includes a programme of exciting evening events.
Now in its ninth year the festival, which runs from Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5, offers a wide choice of 28 walks with routes for all abilities through country parks to strenuous hikes through the heart of the Angus Glens.
More than 400 walkers attended last year’s event, and this year is set to be even more popular, with the introduction of seven new walks, including a walk each day of which is suitable for walkers of all abilities.
Experienced mountain leaders, who have wide-ranging local knowledge, will guide each walk, accompanied by Countryside Rangers, estate managers and ecologists who will be on hand to share their knowledge of local history and wildlife, and will be able to answer any questions raised.
On every evening during the festival, there will also be the chance to enjoy the best of Angus hospitality, with a programme of events to entertain every walker.
On Thursday, there is a quiz night at the Airlie Arms Hotel in Kirriemuir, where participants can test their knowledge of the great outdoors while enjoying a buffet supper.
Friday sees the introduction of a new event – a celebration of Angus food, drink and culture, giving everyone the opportunity to sample the best of local produce, including a dram of whisky, and then be entertained by a demonstration from The Gordon School of Dancing.
The ever-popular ceilidh returns on the Saturday, at Forfar’s Plough Inn, where walkers can enjoy a hearty supper and dance the night away with the Rosely Ceilidh Band.
Festival chairman Mick Pawley said the social programme offers the perfect opportunity for the county to welcome visitors and for walkers to mix in a context other than walking.
He said: “People come from all over the UK and beyond to take part in the Walking Festival. Some have been visiting us every year since the Festival began in 2003.
“We want to extend a warm welcome to all our visitors, and also to our local walkers, and give them the chance to meet friends old and new, through events that they will find entertaining and enjoyable.
“The evening events this year are bigger and better than ever, and really showcase Angus at it’s best. We hope that all our walkers will come along and take part. They are an essential part of the walking festival experience.”
Places on the festival’s walks and evening events can be booked online at www.angusahead.com/walkingfestival, or by calling the VisitScotland Information Centre on 01382 527527.